"Drivers (Legislators):  Start Your Engines"
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
January 23, 2003

Just like the drivers at the Indy 500, the members of the current legislature are fixated on the biennial race to the 140th day, which ends the race through the legislative session.  As is always the case, "No person's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature's in session."  Hence, anyone with a stake in the process must tune-in or pay the price of not paying attention to the important work that is currently taking place at a very fast pace in Austin.

Hence, your County will be tracking a host of proposals coming before the legislative session.  Around 5,000 bills are considered by 181 members, 150 from the House of Representatives and 31 from the Senate.  The Governor will weigh-in too, on the legislative process.  In any event, you can see from the above numbers, there is plenty of opportunity for both good and bad to occur so long as the legislature is in session.

Your County has a number of items in which we have a special interest.  Although I will enumerate many of them, there is always the challenge of "playing defense" so as to not have some damaging piece of legislation or some unfunded State mandate crammed down our throats.  An "unfunded mandate" is a function of government, which the State wants performed and is usually charged with performing, but does not want to pay the price.  It therefore mandates that a local unit of government absorbs the cost without sending the money to the respective governmental entity.

In any event, I have quite a heightened concern with and Bexar County is especially interested in advancing the following proposals, among others:

There are other measures on our list of priorities but for now, I thought I would share with you those with which I am especially concerned.  As the Session grows toward May, I will share others with you.  In the meantime, although I'm certainly not a member of the Legislature, please feel free to express your opinion as to just what you believe the appropriate pathway for Bexar County is in this Legislative Session.

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